After being very cautious in St. Pete not to break the new hardware, they’re really starting to mix things up. The Rear Wheel Guards may not prevent the cars from flying under certain conditions, but they sure have increased bumping and moving cars over. Rubens said afterward he was “hit from every angle, and wished the drivers would show more respect”. The car appears to be quite strong and really take a beating. Some interesting analysis & video here http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/indycar-power-chevrolet-beat-grid-penalty-to-score-long-beach-win/ I thought it was terrific stuff! Looking forward to Brazil.
They certainly seem to be getting less shy about contact. However, from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t seem to be a problem yet and any inappropriate contact has been dealt with by the marshals (such as Hunter-Reay spinning Sato off at the end). As long as it’s known what contact is and is not okay, I’m fine with it. If things get a little too NASCAR-y and they start playing the payback game, THEN I will take issue. As of now, I’m happy to see that they’re sturdy enough to withstand this sort of racing and the competition has been better because of it, IMO.